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      Backyard ice rink becomes a family tradition

      This is the second year that Nate McKerchie has transformed his backyard into a winter hot spot for ice skating and hockey.

      In the winter, McKerchie's not so typical northern Michigan backyard is transformed into an ice rink; a sentimental project that was passed down to him by his father.

      "I want to provide the same for my friends and family the way that he did for us," said McKerchie. "I started out helping him build an ice rink so hopefully I can pass it on to my kids, then them to their kids."

      The project also inspired his 15-year-old daughter, Katlin Roop, to take up ice hockey,

      "It's actually really cool," smiled Roop. "I love it. I love to skate. I love everything about hockey, and so to have an ice rink in my backyard, I can just out and skate whenever I want."

      McKerchie says that building a 48 by 96 foot ice rink is no easy task.

      The project begins in November by setting up the frame of the rink. Until enough ice has accumulated, and the temperatures have dropped enough, McKerchie is outside filling the frame with water. Something his wife calls, "a labor of love."

      McKerchie also created make-shift Zamboni's for smoothing, and lights in the trees to ensure that the fun doesn't stop just because the sun goes down.

      Whether you're a professional, or just starting out, Nate's ice rink is fun for everyone.